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Classic Train Questions Part Deux (50 Years or Older)

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Posted by daveklepper on Sunday, September 19, 2021 1:55 PM

Waiting for ZO's question.

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Posted by ZephyrOverland on Monday, September 20, 2021 3:53 PM

daveklepper

Waiting for ZO's question.

 

So am I. Question coming soon.....

 

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Posted by ZephyrOverland on Tuesday, September 21, 2021 1:14 PM

A Case of Depression Window Dressing, but with a Happy Ending....

More than a year after the Stock Market crash of 1929, American business was experiencing erosion of economic activity but was still optimistic that the better times were soon coming. A new seasonal train was introduced in this environment, but the main operating railroad had to tactfully acknowledge reality by operating this train as a temporary replacement (and upgrade) of an existing train. This facade went on for two seasons, after which the seasonal operation was permanently discontinued. But not to fear, the name that was used on this train reappeared several years later on a new seasonal train on a different route with more lasting results.

That was the name that was applied to these two trains, and what were their routes?

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Posted by daveklepper on Tuesday, September 21, 2021 2:01 PM

On either route, was more than one railroad involved?

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Posted by ZephyrOverland on Tuesday, September 21, 2021 2:52 PM

daveklepper

On either route, was more than one railroad involved?

 

Yes, in terms of through cars and through train operations.

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Posted by rcdrye on Wednesday, September 22, 2021 9:38 AM

The Scenic Limited (MP/D&RGW/WP) was briefly renamed the Westerner for a period around 1930.  MP also used the name Westerner on a west Texas train (with T&P) at a later time.

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Posted by ZephyrOverland on Wednesday, September 22, 2021 10:03 AM

rcdrye

The Scenic Limited (MP/D&RGW/WP) was briefly renamed the Westerner for a period around 1930.  MP also used the name Westerner on a west Texas train (with T&P) at a later time.

 

A decent guess but its not the answer. The Scenic Limited and the Westerner were not seasonal trains. But you inadvertenly preceeded one of my clues, in that one railroad was involved with both trains. In the first incarnation the railroad was the primary operator of the train, based on mileage, whereas in the second incarnation this same railroad was the secondary operator of the train, again based on mileage.

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Posted by ZephyrOverland on Tuesday, September 28, 2021 11:45 AM

ZephyrOverland

A Case of Depression Window Dressing, but with a Happy Ending....

More than a year after the Stock Market crash of 1929, American business was experiencing erosion of economic activity but was still optimistic that the better times were soon coming. A new seasonal train was introduced in this environment, but the main operating railroad had to tactfully acknowledge reality by operating this train as a temporary replacement (and upgrade) of an existing train. This facade went on for two seasons, after which the seasonal operation was permanently discontinued. But not to fear, the name that was used on this train reappeared several years later on a new seasonal train on a different route with more lasting results.

That was the name that was applied to these two trains, and what were their routes?

 

(sounds of chirping crickets....)

OK, OK... maybe its time for another clue...

The first train was established for the 1930-31 winter season.

 

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Posted by Overmod on Tuesday, September 28, 2021 3:01 PM

Can't be B&M Snow Trains for more than one reason, and that's the only thing I knew would fit.

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Posted by ZephyrOverland on Tuesday, September 28, 2021 4:29 PM

Overmod

Can't be B&M Snow Trains for more than one reason, and that's the only thing I knew would fit.

 

No it isn't. Look the other way.

Also, in its first incarnation, it was a secondary seasonal train. But in its second incarnation, it was the primary seasonal train on its route.

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Posted by daveklepper on Wednesday, September 29, 2021 4:10 AM

Was there a seasonal Midwest - Florida Special before the ACL's long lasting N Y - Florida winter-season Florida Special?

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Posted by ZephyrOverland on Wednesday, September 29, 2021 9:43 AM

daveklepper

Was there a seasonal Midwest - Florida Special before the ACL's long lasting N Y - Florida winter-season Florida Special?

 

The Florida Special is not it, in light of the fact that ACL's train ran seasonally on a continuing basis more or less consistently from 1888 - but you're in the right direction.

You're also in the right neighborhood, in that the trains I'm looking for had the approximate endpoints you mention.

 

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Posted by daveklepper on Friday, October 1, 2021 3:14 AM

Muxt be Seaboard, a train 1st Seaboard-Southern-NYCentral Sysyem (lstter possibly only throush Pullmans) Midwest - Florida, and then NY - Florida with RF&P and PRR.

Or the reverse order.

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Posted by ZephyrOverland on Friday, October 1, 2021 11:01 AM

daveklepper

Muxt be Seaboard, a train 1st Seaboard-Southern-NYCentral Sysyem (lstter possibly only throush Pullmans) Midwest - Florida, and then NY - Florida with RF&P and PRR.

Or the reverse order.

 

O.K. - you got some pieces of the puzzle. Now its time to answer the original question - the name used on both trains and the routes.

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Posted by rcdrye on Friday, October 1, 2021 3:18 PM

Florida Sunbeam Boston-Florida operated by NYNH&H/PRR/RF&P/SAL replaced Seaboard Fast Mail for two seasons (1930 and 1931), name was later re-used by Southern/SAL train inaugurated in 1936, collecting New York Central Pullmans from various cities in the Midwest (Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland and Toledo) for delivery to Florida, bypassing Jacksonville with a SRR/SAL handoff at Hampton FL.

Not easy to find references to the original train - PRRT&HS comes through again.

The "New Royal Palm" replaced the Florida Sunbeam in 1949, providing essentially the same service, but via Jacksonville and with no west coast cars.

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Posted by ZephyrOverland on Friday, October 1, 2021 10:54 PM

rcdrye

Florida Sunbeam Boston-Florida operated by NYNH&H/PRR/RF&P/SAL replaced Seaboard Fast Mail for two seasons (1930 and 1931), name was later re-used by Southern/SAL train inaugurated in 1936, collecting New York Central Pullmans from various cities in the Midwest (Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland and Toledo) for delivery to Florida, bypassing Jacksonville with a SRR/SAL handoff at Hampton FL.

Not easy to find references to the original train - PRRT&HS comes through again.

The "New Royal Palm" replaced the Florida Sunbeam in 1949, providing essentially the same service, but via Jacksonville and with no west coast cars.

 

The Florida Sunbeam was the name I was looking for.

The first incarnation of the name was used on a winter season Washington-Florida SAL train inaugurated in December 1930. The train replaced the Seaboard Fast Mail, but utilized that trains numbers, #3 and #4. The Sunbeam was advertised as a Boston train, but the Boston sleepers were handled on the Federal Express to Washington and the New York sleepers were transported via existing PRR corridor trains north of Washington. The Sunbeam also handled a number of seasonal Midwest-Florida via Washington sleepers. At the end of the winter season the Sunbeam was replaced by the Washington-Jacksonville Seaboard Fast Mail.

During the Florida boom years of the mid-to-late 20s, winter season trains were operated for up to six months out of the year, but for the 1931-32 winter season, seasonal trains made only a brief appearance of about six weeks. In this environment, the Florida Sunbeam returned, but operating southbound only, again replacing the Seaboard Fast Mail. At this time, the northbound Seaboard Fast Mail, #4, remained in operation, but was cut back to a Columbia-Washington run. The Sunbeam no longer handled any Boston or New York sleepers, and only one Washington-Florida sleeper was operated on an alternating basis between Miami and St. Petersburg. The Midwest-Florida via Washington sleepers made a reappearance for what turned out to be a final season. Despite the southbound-only operation, advertisments for the Florida Sunbeam showed a south and northbound schedule, but the later was for #8, the Orange Blossom Special. This seasons Sunbeam ran from mid-December 1931 to the end of January 1932, at which time original #3 was restored, renamed slightly to Seaboard Passenger, Mail and Express. This was the end of the Florida Sunbeam as an east coast-Florida train.

In January 1936, the Florida Sunbeam name returned, this time applied to a new Cincinnati-Miami/St. Petersburg seasonal train, operating via Southern Railway to Hampton, Florida, where it was turned over to Seaboard for the rest of the way. This Florida Sunbeam replaced the former seasonal Royal Palm de luxe and Suwanee River Special, both victims of the depression. The train handled sleepers from Chicago, Indianapolis, Detroit, Cleveland and Buffalo, transported by NYC services to Cincinnati. This Florida Sunbeam was more successful, operating through the 1948-49 winter season (skipping the World War 2 years) and was replaced with the streamlined New Royal Palm.

Rcdrye, the floor is yours.

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Posted by rcdrye on Sunday, October 3, 2021 6:44 PM

Until 1971 (and later in San Feancisco Commute territory) Both SP and UP put train numbers of passenger trains in the locomotives' indicators. Use of train numbers and "X" indications were dropped earlier for freight trains.

Two midwestern railroads also carried passenger train numbers in indicators, but not on all trains, and not at the same time.  Name the two railroads and any of the passenger trains involved.

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Posted by daveklepper on Sunday, October 3, 2021 9:15 PM

Streamliner power ran through SP-UP-C&NW and then SP-UP-CMStP&P.   All "City" trains on these railroads.  So the two midwestern railroads are the C&NW and the CMStP&P, and the trains are all "City" trains to and from Chicago. 

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Posted by rcdrye on Monday, October 4, 2021 6:23 AM

Not all of C&NW's E8s (and no C&NW E7s) had changeable indicators, but those that did showed train numbers when leading "City" trains.  Milwaukee continued the practice, made easier since Milwaukee power (usually E9s) on "City" trains was part of a UP-MILW pool, with trains often led by UP power.  Other C&NW or Milwaukee trains just showed the engine number.  The practice ended for good around 1969 when UP and MILW began changing engines at Omaha instead of running through.

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Posted by daveklepper on Tuesday, October 5, 2021 4:09 AM

I suspect the C&NW tried when practical, most of the time, to place diesels that could display the train numbers. their own or on-hand UP and SP powerm to head westbound City trains to avoid the UP and SP having problems.

Name an operation, tracks, that for some time saw steam, electric, and cable operation every day, all on the same tracks.

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Posted by rcdrye on Tuesday, October 5, 2021 5:05 PM

The New York & Brooklyn Bridge Railway was designed for cable operation over the bridge.  Small steam locomotives (ten 0-4-0Ts and two 2-4-2Ts) were used for switching at each end and to assist trains out of the stations.  The cable/steam hybrid operation began in October 1883. In 1896 an electric third rail was laid along the entire railway.  Twenty new Pullman motor cars began service in November 1896, using their motors for switching and starting but gripping the cable for the trip over the bridge.  When all of the new motors were in service the steam locomotives were retired, in late January 1897.  Cable operation continued during periods of heavier loads, with electric operation at other times, until January 1908. Rapid Transit operation on the Bridge lasted until 1944. 

Bridge cars were originally equipped with a Paine roller grip, later replaced by a grip similar to the original Hallidie grip, though much larger.

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Posted by daveklepper on Thursday, October 7, 2021 4:09 AM

You are the winner.  Not generally known, but at night when the cable was inspected, the steam engines, used in te day only for terminal switching, ran the service across the bridge.  And then, during the period of mixed cable and electric operation, the Brooklyn Rapid Transit had a power-house fire and a failure at a second power-house before the first was rebuilt, and some steam operation returned, including some trains running through over the bridge.

Thus, the very last steam revenue operation was as late as 1903.  The cable was shut down in 1908, ending close to 25-years of cable operation.

Your question

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Posted by rcdrye on Thursday, October 7, 2021 7:30 PM

Maybe just as interesting it that cable operation, at least of local trains, continued even after the Brooklyn Bridge  Railway was connected to the Brookly El.  Through trains were electrically operated.

One railroad operated diesel locomotives from three different builders in commuter service, another operated diesels from two.  Both ran EMD FP7s on commuter trains from time to time, though neither assigned them regularly in the early years.  Name both of the railroads.

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Posted by Overmod on Friday, October 8, 2021 5:10 AM

PRR and Reading?

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Posted by rcdrye on Friday, October 8, 2021 6:27 AM

PRR never assigned FP7s to commuter trains to the best of my knowledge, thhough both PRR and Reading had them, as well as both Alco and Baldwin power.  New Haven had Alco, EMD and F-M power on commuter trains at various times, but no FP7s.  

The two I'm looking for are a bit further west.  Both commuter operations survive in diesel operation today.

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Posted by Overmod on Friday, October 8, 2021 7:16 AM

rcdrye
PRR never assigned FP7s to commuter trains to the best of my knowledge...

Not in Pittsburgh?

If further west, Rock Island qualifies -- they even had at least one commuter locomotive that was two builders at the same time!  That would make the other the Milwaukee.

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Posted by daveklepper on Friday, October 8, 2021 7:27 AM

Reading assogned FP7s to commuter trains as well as Alco RS-?.   I'm unsure if CNJ had any FP-7s, but they certanly did have Baldwin. EMD, and Alco diesels in commuter sevice at the same time.  *I think they did  have FP-7s.  Regularly used on the  Queen of the Valley, if memory is correct.

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Posted by rcdrye on Friday, October 8, 2021 8:24 AM

Rock Island is one, with EMC, Alco (including an EMD-re-engined DL-109) and Fairbanks-Morse.  FP7s were irregular until fairly late in the game.  The other railroad I'm looking for isn't in Chicago.  CNJ had F7s which I think were freight-only.

Milwaukee had Alco RSC-2s in service on pasenger trains in light rail territory, but Chicago commuter service was all EMD.

The other railroad I'm looking for isn't in Chicago. The "off-brand" diesels there lasted until the early 1970s, after the FP7s had been sold (FP7's were only occasional visitors).  Unlike most other commuter systems, a large percentage of the locomotives were six axle power.

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Friday, October 8, 2021 10:08 AM

The other railroad would be Southern Pacific.  Six-axle power came in the form of H24-66's, SD9's and SDP45's.  FP7's from SP and Cotton Belt (just one) also ran in commute service.

The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul
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Posted by rcdrye on Friday, October 8, 2021 7:36 PM

That's what I was looking for.  SD7s also made cameo appearances.

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